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CIN@STL: Arroyo solid over eight to notch first win

The Reds can take solace in the small things. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker is thrilled that his team is back after a long road trip and is hoping to get comfortable Wednesday, when the Reds take on San Francisco in the second act of a three-game series and nine-game homestand.

Cincinnati took a one-sided win in Tuesday's opener, giving Baker a welcome-home gift.

"It's nice to be home," he said. "We are hoping we can make up a lot of ground here at the house."

Both teams will be counting on a veteran pitcher in Wednesday's game, and both arms have gotten off to fast starts this season. San Francisco will turn to southpaw Barry Zito, and Cincinnati will go with right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who has completed at least six innings in all three of his starts.

Arroyo, a 12-year veteran, went 9-12 with a 5.07 ERA last season, and he allowed more earned runs (112) and home runs (46) than any other pitcher in the league. The 35-year-old has only given up one home run in his first three starts, but he admitted that he has to work hard to be consistent.

"When you're not a dominant guy, physically, like [Aroldis] Chapman or [Washington's Stephen] Strasburg, you have less room for error when you go out there," said Arroyo after his last start. "Sometimes you get off to a bad start, and I'm sure sometime this year I will be in a slide where I'm just not hitting my spots and guys are hitting me hard. Coming out of spring, I was relatively healthy. My back feels good, my arm feels pretty good. I'm at least giving myself a chance to get off on the right foot."

Zito, who won the 2002 American League Cy Young Award, is trying to have his own renaissance season. The left-hander threw a shutout in his season debut and has allowed just two earned runs in each of his last two outings. Zito, for his career, is 3-4 with a 7.47 ERA against the Reds.

Arroyo has a 3-5 record and a 3.25 career ERA against the Giants, but he has something even better going for him: He's healthy, and Baker thinks that could pay dividends well into the season.

"He's not sick. That's huge," he said. "Last year, the guy had mono early. That takes a lot out of you for a long period of time. The guy can pitch. Plus, Steve Carlton once lost 20 games and came back and won a whole bunch of games. Sometimes, there are bad years, for whatever reason. It seems like in modern baseball, there is no room or tolerance for a guy that has a down or bad year."

Giants: Sandoval waits until late to set franchise mark
The Giants didn't do much offensively on Tuesday night, but they did see Pablo Sandoval set a new franchise record for the longest hit streak to start a season. Sandoval has now hit in 17 straight games, the longest streak in the Majors and the longest ever for a San Francisco Giant.

The great Willie Mays put together a 16-game hitting streak all the way back in 1960, and Sandoval equaled him with hits in both ends of Monday's doubleheader against New York. San Francisco's third baseman went hitless until the ninth inning Tuesday before singling off Sam LeCure.

Reds: Votto coming up empty
First baseman Joey Votto went 0-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch Tuesday, and he's still looking for his first home run since the second game of the season. Votto has now gone 15 games without going deep, and he's struggled to an .086 batting average (5-for-58) over the course of his last 11 games.

Votto hit .370 last April, with four home runs, and he went on to bat .290 or better in every month except September. The former MVP is batting .292 (7-for-24) at home this season.

Worth noting
• The Giants lost the opener but have won each of their last four series.

• San Francisco has scored at least four runs in 13 of its first 17 games this season.

• Giants catcher Buster Posey homered for the second consecutive game on Tuesday.

• The Reds have won four of their last five games.

• Baker won game No. 1,492 on Tuesday, pushing him into 20th place on the all-time wins list. Comments